Robert Higgs – How War Leads To Big Government

Robert HiggsDr. Robert Higgs is a Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute, which is based in Oakland, California. A champion of liberty and Austrian economics, Dr. Higgs was recently featured as a guest lecturer at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama for the 2014 Mises University week.

In this lecture, he professes how war leads to big government, a subject which he has written about extensively for over thirty years. He furthermore beseeches upon the students in attendance, most of whom are young Libertarians, that warfare makes an absolute mockery out of everything that we hold dearly.

“Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and developes the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies. From these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. No nation could preserve it’s freedom in the midst of continual warfare’. – James Madison, 1795

Think about that last sentence for a minute. Now consider the fact that the United States has been at war, almost without interruption, in one way or another, since 1940. A serious consequence of this sustained warfare, whether hot, cold, direct, or indirect, has been a diminishing of our liberties in vitally important ways.

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